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Criminal Law Blog

Bart Kaspero Law > Criminal Law Blog (Page 2)

Johnny Manziel’s Domestic Violence Charge Dismissed Via Agreement with Prosecutor

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Johnny Manziel is barely 24 years old, but his name has been in the headlines for years. He won the Heisman Trophy at age 20 and was a first-round draft pick for the Browns in 2014, but was released a year later due in part to his numerous off-field run-ins with the law. His latest controversy has been a domestic violence charge brought against him by Texas prosecutors after he was accused of striking his girlfriend in public in January 2016. Manziel faced up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor charges and a $4,000 fine, but it appears...

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Can the Police Search My Car for Marijuana or Alcohol?

Marijuana and a gavel together for many legal concepts on the drug.

If you are a California resident, you no doubt have heard by now that California voters have legalized the recreational use and possession of small amounts of marijuana, effective immediately. And alcohol has of course been legal since the end of Prohibition. So why would a police officer ever have reason to search your car or vehicle for evidence of marijuana or alcohol? Because numerous situations remain in which you might face criminal charges based on the presence of alcohol or marijuana in your vehicle, including: Driving while intoxicated Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) Open container laws Possession...

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What Are Your Legal Rights at a DUI Checkpoint?

California law enforcement has been cracking down on intoxicated driving in recent years, and one commonly used tactic in doing so is through DUI checkpoints. Several thousand DUI checkpoints are set up each year in California, with well over 5,000 individuals being arrested for a DUI crime each year at those checkpoints. A single DUI conviction can result in jail time, high fines, court fees, and increased insurance rates in the tens of thousands over the years. Thus, it is important to understand what rights you have at a California DUI checkpoint. DUI Checkpoints are Constitutional Normally, a police officer must have...

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How to Expunge a Criminal Record in California

Testify in Court

If you are seeking a new job, career, license, or other position involving a background check, or you simply want to protect your reputation and legacy now and in the future, there are steps you can take to expunge a criminal record in California. Not all crimes can be expunged, and expungement can be a multi-step process, but the rewards of expungement often make it worth it. Here are the basic steps on how to expunge a criminal record in California. Collect All of Your Criminal Records For most people seeking an expungement in California, the goal is to expunge as many...

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How a Current/Pending Criminal Charge Can Affect Your Employment

Criminal Records

California state law provides extensive protections for individuals who have been convicted of crimes in the past but have taken steps to either expunge their record, have past felonies reduced to a misdemeanor, and/or have their criminal records cleared such that they do not appear in a background check. But what if you do not have a past criminal record and are instead facing criminal charges before the courts now? Understanding what potential and current employers can ask about with regard to pending criminal charges and what actions they may take should be critical factors in deciding how to address...

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Are There Limits to Expunging Your Record?

A gavel and folder represent legal documents.

California offers one of the most gracious expungement programs in the country, and it is a principle of California state law to provide a second chance to people who have made mistakes in the past. But that does not mean that the process is necessarily simple, that any and all criminal records will be erased, or that you will be in the exact same position as you were before. While the benefits of expungement are enormous - namely the reputational and career benefits you will experience - it’s good to go into the process clear-eyed and with the right resources...

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DUI on 4th of July

DUI on the 4th of July A lot of images come to mind with our Day of Independence.  To name one of them: Drinking in celebration of our Freedom.  While most Americans can do this with moderation, others make the mistake in timing their decision to drive.  There isn't anything inherently evil about this.  Humans have celebrated with alcohol since the dawn of time.  But the trouble these days is that few are aware of what the legal limit is with respect to driving under the influence ("DUI").  More specifically, few have the internal awareness of what their level of impairment...

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6 Things DUI Cops Won’t Tell You

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="195"] Photo By Charles Roberts from Plano, United States (Plano Police Motorcycle Officer) [CC BY 2.0[/caption] This post used to say "5 Things DUI Cops Won't Tell You", however, new trends and created new issue in the field of DUI law.  Despite law enforcement's efforts to curb impaired driving, trends related to drug-influenced driving ("drugged driving") have sprouted in the last four years.  This has influenced the ways in which DUI officers have investigated their cases. It’s sometimes hard to grasp how complex DUI (“Driving Under the Influence”) arrests can get. Most people don’t really know what it feels...

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Why Humans Drink & Get High

Why Humans Drink & Get High Before undertaking this kind of topic, a few things need to be clarified.  The medical, treatment, and law enforcement communities can disagree about the different ranges between alcohol or drug "use," "abuse," and "addiction."  Not all people who have tried alcohol or drugs have "abused" them.  And not all individuals who have used mind-altering chemicals have experienced "addiction".  Thus, this discussion postulates the multifaceted reasons why humans as a species are drawn to these experiences in the first place.  For a long time now, the notion that "getting high" to have fun or "running away...

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3 Reasons You Were Charged With a DUI Felony

When is a DUI a felony? How does a DUI Felony affect you?  What you can do about it?   In California, a DUI is what is commonly referred to as a “wobbler”; this means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, in order to be charged with a felony DUI there must be aggravating factors that warrant that type of enhancement. These aggravating factors may occur when the DUI: Causes Death or Injury Is the Fourth DUI within Ten Years Comes after a Prior Felony DUI.   1. A DUI felony happens when it causes injury or death A first time DUI...

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